Rockford a contender for Embry-Riddle U

Rockford, IL – Rockford has long-pursued a four-year, residential university. Now the city's among the finalists seeking to land a school that could also help the area's aerospace industry.

Several Rockford business leaders are visiting the Florida headquarters of Embry-Riddle. They're trying to determine just what the aerospace educator wants as it narrows its list of sites for its next four-year, residential university. Janyce Fadden heads up the Rockford Area Economic Development Council. She says there will be a petition campaign to show public support for the school. She also hopes to get the many Rockford-area businesses with a stake in the aerospace industry on board, especially because these students could be their future employees.

The school is expected to enroll one-thousand students: half would live on campus, half would commute. Embry-Riddle's two other campuses draw students from throughout the U-S and another 100 countries. Rockford has some tough competition in landing the school: Phoenix, Seattle, and Dallas are among the other finalists. A decision could come by the end of the year.